Alaska Airlines begins customer service via text message

Alaska Airlines begins customer service via text message

A new feature from Alaska Airlines may soon put an end to time wasted on the phone waiting for travel help and text message instead. Fliers can message to connect with a customer service representative for answers to simple travel questions.

An estimated 70 percent of people who contact Alaska are using a mobile device, according to the airline. Of the calls that are made to the airline, Alaska believes 40 percent of them could be handled through text messages.

In the US only Hawaiian Airlines and Alaska Air now offer the option to connect with airline customer service representatives over text, but nearly all provide some level of customer support through Twitter and Facebook Messenger. (Hawaiian launched its service in August.)

The help you can get via text includes: flight delays and schedule changes, emotional or service support animal requests, seat assignments, upgrades, requesting accessible travel services and questions about the Alaska frequent flier program, Mileage Plan

We’re told text message customer service can’t help with making new reservations, voluntary flight changes and cancellations, paid seat upgrades, and enrolling in Mileage Plan if you don’t have an upcoming reservation.

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10 Texting Statistics You Need to Know

10 Texting Statistics You Need to Know

1. Texts have a 99% open rate. (SinglePoint)

2. 95% of texts will be read within 3 minutes of being sent. (Forbes)

3. The average adult spends 23 hours a week texting. (USA Today)

4. Only 48% of businesses are currently equipped to handle any form of messaging. (Twilio)

5. 89% of consumers want to use messaging to communicate with businesses. (Twilio)

6. 61% of businesses wish they could send and receive texts from a business number. (RingCentral)

7. People prefer text most for scheduling or changing appointments, and making or confirming reservations (Harris)

8. Texting is highest rated contact method for customer satisfaction when compared to other communication channels (Text – 90%; Phone – 77%).(eWeek)

9. Texting in the sales process with a qualified lead can increase conversions over 100% (Velocify)

10. 64% of consumers are likely to have a positive perception of companies that offer communication via text (Harris)